Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Wagner - Gotterdammerung / Levine Behrens Jerusalem Metropolitan Opera |
Levine Ring Cycle Part 4
Actors: Hildegard Behrens, Siegfried Jerusalem, Matti Salminen, Christa Ludwig, Anthony Raffell
Director: Brian Large
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Musicals & Performing Arts
The least satisfactory of the 4 operas
Karen McPherson | 12/02/2002
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm afraid this performance of Gotterdammerung is the least satisfactory in the 4 Ring operas and it provides a sort of anti-climatic conclusion to the Levine Metropolitan Ring.While Levine creates some sense of urgency in the preceding dramas, his sprawling tempos here don't serve the work very well and the drama sags from time to time. That said, the performance of the orchestra is exceptionally good. It's only Levine's plodding tempos that is the liability here.The singing is unexceptional. In fact, with such slow tempos preferred by Levine, some of the singers encounter problems when trying to sustaining phrases. The chief casualty is no doubt Hildegard Behrens. Her Brunnhilde is not only underwhelming, her struggles with some of the climatic phrases are made far too evident. Siegfried Jerusalem is a secure Siegfried, but his performance lacks individuality. The other roles are not particularly well taken. Vocally, the performance doesn't have much to boast about.The stage direction is generally good, although the ending - the collapse of Valhalla and the over-flowing of the Rhine - is vastly under-staged. On the whole, it is indeed quite a disappointment."
The best available
Maurice D'Archonnoir | Istanbul | 07/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have watched the three major options of the ring on dvd (kupfer,schenk,chéreau). Chéreau's gotterdammerung is very good with its beautiful staging and imaginative approach supported by fine singers save for hagen! I didn't like Hubner's presence nor his rendition was impressive.. As for Kupfer's gotterdammerung all works nicely even if the very end destroys the whole magic imho. I have nothing to say about the acting and vocal renditions of the singers, but a modern setting is never my first choice. Now, gotterdammerung of the met.. is certainly the best production with heavily realistic sets and lavish traditional staging. Salminen and Ludwig are simply magnificent. As for the "problematic" couple (jerusalem and behrens), it's true that this is not their finest moment on stage (they have bot sang these parts in bayreuth in a much better form) but I have to admit that the most beautiful (technically flawed maybe, especially for the chest register) voice of these three brunnhildes on dvd belongs to behrens. her elegant phrasing and ringing top notes are simply electrfying! one can say that she is not very wagnerian yes I agree, but she is not unsuccesful. Actually I've cried at the immolation scene she had such a strong presence on stage.. Jerusalem is a good actor (for an opera singer anyway) and even if he has some problems with high notes, the phrases made with his middle tones are very sophisticated and musical.. I mean they may not be compared to the great wagner singers like nilsson, varnay, flagstad or, windgassen, melchior, kollo... but they are not bad enough to ruin this magnificent production. You will never find a most thrilling immolation scene anywhere else! Everything written on the libretto can be seen on stage: the gibichung castle falling in ruins, river rhein covering all things, walhalla in flames!...
Levine and met orch & choir are no match to the bayreuth team, however they are very good indeed, considering the length and high demands of this great work, especially the dts sound is simply brilliant!
In short, this is not a perfect production (none of the others is), but is the strongest gotterdammerung production considering that it's the only one which is the closest to fulfill wagner's visions and dreams with a very fine cast for its time (today you can't even dream a cast like that!)and with a technically well presentation on dvd (masterful video direction by brian large and superior sound transfer)"